Changes to testing and self-isolation requirements

From 11 January, people with no symptoms, who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately but won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. 

Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who develops one of the three main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed. 

Under this new approach, anyone who receives a positive LFD test result should report their result on GOV.UK and must self-isolate immediately but will not need to take a follow-up PCR test. 

After reporting a positive LFD test result, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced and must continue to self-isolate. 

In line with the reduced self-isolation approach announced on 22 December, anyone who tests positive will be able to leave self-isolation seven days after the date of their initial positive test if they receive two negative LFD results, 24 hours apart, on days six and seven. 

You may be entitled to a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment if you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. 

Merton Community Hub can provide both emotional and financial support, as well as deliveries of essentials such as shopping or prescriptions.